Is it polite to send your resume to a literary agency even if they don't specifically state they are looking for interns/assistants? Or will this only make them remember your name in a bad way? And how soon is too soon to send that resume- should you be ready to start next month, or next week?
It's not rude to send out resumes without a job posting but the real question is whether it is effective. And the answer is probably not.
When we look for interns, we post the opening on BookJobs.com and on our Facebook page and we tweet about it.
When the resumes arrive, I have a designated folder for them that's labelled "Spring 2014" and I know who to get in touch with. I don't keep a file of resumes that have arrived before we announced the job, and I don't keep a data base of applicants to get in touch with.
Mostly this is just because I don't have to. We have more good applicants than we can hire, so we don't have to reach out beyond the applicants we get.
When we hire interns we expect them to be able to start with us usually within a couple weeks. We hire summer interns in April and May. Summer "session" starts right before BEA.
Exceptions are made of course but that's the general procedure.
The only time you can apply for something that hasn't been posted is if you hear about it from one of my pals. Often I'll let the word out early to colleagues that if they've got a crackerjack candidate we're looking for someone. We've gotten a few good people that way too.